The removal of intermediaries
from a supply chain
. "Cutting out the middleman".
Disintermediation has been a goal of buyers as long as there has been commerce, but the advent of information technologies and the Internet has not only created virtual markets that disintermediate commerce in tangible goods, but eases previously difficult transfers of intangible goods as well. Medical, legal, recreational, instructional and other types of information are now available to anyone who knows how to search.
The middleman has not been made completely redundant. In some cases the supply chain has been simplified toward its theoretical minimum, directly from seller to buyer, but in other cases the buyer simply now has a wider choice of suppliers. Intermediaries survive by adding value, and those able to continue adding value will stay in business. On the other hand, middlemen who merely exploit a geographical or legal bottleneck to take their cut will find themselves increasingly irrelevant.